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Insa's seafood corn dog
Photo by Khushbu Shah

Where to Find NYC’s Finest Corn Dogs

Eater critic Robert Sietsema tells us where to grab a good one in NYC

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Insa's seafood corn dog
| Photo by Photo by Khushbu Shah

There’s something about a corn dog that sets the blood racing, especially when smeared with mustard, and indeed, the corn dog is the progenitor of all the absurdist fried foods now popular at state fairs, including fried marshmallows, fried candy bars, and even fried butter. Despite their appeal, they’re harder to find than you think.

Here’s where the corn dog has made its way to NYC, from classic versions to mutated ones with premium franks.

Note: This map is arranged from north to south.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Papaya King

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179 East 86th St
New York, NY 10028
(212) 369-0648
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While Grey’s Papaya represents the bare-bones New York City hot dog tradition, providing minimalist condiments like mustard, kraut, and Greek onion relish, the Papaya King chain dolls up its dogs with all sorts of toppings. But it also sells a plain corn dog, with a sweet batter and good-quality frank. At $3, it’s a comparative bargain. Go to the original location, founded 1932.

Robert Sietsema

2. Kings of Kobe

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790 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019
(212) 247-3703
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A few years ago, a device became available that melds an envelope-shaped waffle onto a sausage, and several places now serve them on sticks. The drawback? The flavor is more waffle dog than corn dog, even though the means of eating it is the same. Kings of Kobe makes a good one out of a wagyu beef wiener dressed with spicy maple aioli for $5.75.

Robert Sietsema

3. New York Beer Company

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321 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 245-2337
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Corn dogs are wonderful enough as they are, so why make them smaller? That’s a question addressed by New York Beer Company, a monster sized bar with a sophisticated suds selection. Four mini-corn dogs ($14) coated with a beer batter are served on toothpicks accompanied by garlic aioli. They’re damn good, but the coating is the wrong texture if you’re a cornbread fan.

Robert Sietsema

4. Papaya Dog

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333 6th Ave
New York, NY 10014
(212) 627-9748
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The 24-hour Greenwich Village fixture Papaya Dog, not to be confused with the Papaya King stands it imitates, also sells a corn dog. The only problem is that the enthusiastic and impatient crew often fails to refry the thing long enough, so it often stays cool in the middle. Make them cook it longer!

Robert Sietsema

5. Crif Dogs

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113 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009
(212) 614-2728
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If you want an even better quality frank than Papaya King’s check out East Village mainstay Crif Dogs. There, a longer wiener is coated with a less-sweet batter and fried to a very dark brown, guaranteeing that the corn dog will be piping hot in the middle. But this attention to detail comes at a price: $6.

Robert Sietsema

6. Empellón Al Pastor

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132 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009
(646) 833-7039
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Perhaps the most fussed-over corn dog is the one at Empellon Al Pastor, where a dark and juicy premium frank is judiciously coated with a cornmeal batter not overly thick, then carefully fried ($7). A lime wedge is provided on the side, and so is a black huitlacoche mustard that you’ll either love or hate. The corn dog is plenty good without it.

Robert Sietsema

7. Insa Korean BBQ & Karaoke

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328 Douglass St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 855-2620
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In New York City, there seem to be more reconfigured versions of the corn dog than ones that are faithful to the original. Gowanus Korean hotspot Insa offers a seafood corn dog made with fish paste wrapped around a stick. These are incredibly tasty, but don’t really deliver any corn flavor.

Insa's seafood corn dog
Photo by Khushbu Shah

1. Papaya King

179 East 86th St, New York, NY 10028
Robert Sietsema

While Grey’s Papaya represents the bare-bones New York City hot dog tradition, providing minimalist condiments like mustard, kraut, and Greek onion relish, the Papaya King chain dolls up its dogs with all sorts of toppings. But it also sells a plain corn dog, with a sweet batter and good-quality frank. At $3, it’s a comparative bargain. Go to the original location, founded 1932.

179 East 86th St
New York, NY 10028

2. Kings of Kobe

790 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Robert Sietsema

A few years ago, a device became available that melds an envelope-shaped waffle onto a sausage, and several places now serve them on sticks. The drawback? The flavor is more waffle dog than corn dog, even though the means of eating it is the same. Kings of Kobe makes a good one out of a wagyu beef wiener dressed with spicy maple aioli for $5.75.

790 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019

3. New York Beer Company

321 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Robert Sietsema

Corn dogs are wonderful enough as they are, so why make them smaller? That’s a question addressed by New York Beer Company, a monster sized bar with a sophisticated suds selection. Four mini-corn dogs ($14) coated with a beer batter are served on toothpicks accompanied by garlic aioli. They’re damn good, but the coating is the wrong texture if you’re a cornbread fan.

321 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036

4. Papaya Dog

333 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014
Robert Sietsema

The 24-hour Greenwich Village fixture Papaya Dog, not to be confused with the Papaya King stands it imitates, also sells a corn dog. The only problem is that the enthusiastic and impatient crew often fails to refry the thing long enough, so it often stays cool in the middle. Make them cook it longer!

333 6th Ave
New York, NY 10014

5. Crif Dogs

113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
Robert Sietsema

If you want an even better quality frank than Papaya King’s check out East Village mainstay Crif Dogs. There, a longer wiener is coated with a less-sweet batter and fried to a very dark brown, guaranteeing that the corn dog will be piping hot in the middle. But this attention to detail comes at a price: $6.

113 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009

6. Empellón Al Pastor

132 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
Robert Sietsema

Perhaps the most fussed-over corn dog is the one at Empellon Al Pastor, where a dark and juicy premium frank is judiciously coated with a cornmeal batter not overly thick, then carefully fried ($7). A lime wedge is provided on the side, and so is a black huitlacoche mustard that you’ll either love or hate. The corn dog is plenty good without it.

132 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009

7. Insa Korean BBQ & Karaoke

328 Douglass St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Insa's seafood corn dog
Photo by Khushbu Shah

In New York City, there seem to be more reconfigured versions of the corn dog than ones that are faithful to the original. Gowanus Korean hotspot Insa offers a seafood corn dog made with fish paste wrapped around a stick. These are incredibly tasty, but don’t really deliver any corn flavor.

328 Douglass St
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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